What Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban Said About Election Day Was Stupid
Alabama football coach Nick Saban has a very difficult, demanding job. Every day, he wakes up and has to figure out how to inspire dozens of young men to succeed on the football field. That might seem like a trivial job to you, but it’s a pressure-packed situation that requires a lot of razor-sharp focus. He could spend 364 days working hard and keeping his eyes on the prize—which is an SEC title and, ultimately, a national championship—but if he slacks off for just one day, it could affect an entire season and change the public perception of him. Most people wouldn’t last an hour trying to do what he does.
But even with all of that being said, surely Saban realized the importance of taking some time to talk to his team about the political process this week, right? Tuesday was obviously Election Day, and this year’s election was incredibly important so there’s no way he just chose to ignore it, right? At the very least, he spent 30 minutes of his time talking to players about voting and encouraging them to serve as leaders by getting out to vote, right? As it turns out, no. Saban was so busy on Tuesday that he says he didn’t even realize that an election was taking place. “It was so important to me that I didn’t even know it was happening,” he said on Wednesday night. “We’re focused on other things here.”
Other things? Other things? Now, to be fair to Saban, there’s a chance that he did talk to his team about voting. Hopefully, he even voted himself and is just trying to steer all the way clear of talking about his political preferences with the press. But if Saban wasn’t just being tongue-in-cheek while talking with reporters, he’s setting a terrible example for his players. One of the most disheartening parts of this year’s election was that, despite its importance, about 50 percent of eligible Americans didn’t vote. There could have been a much different outcome during the election if they had, and yet, here Saban is talking about how he pretty much ignored that it was even going on because he had “other things” that he needed to work on.
Listen, we get it: Saban is a busy man with a demanding job that takes up a lot of his time. But by ignoring the election, he just did a huge disservice to his players, his team, his school, and frankly, his country. He didn’t need to come out and make any big political statements this election season, but he should have encouraged his players to vote instead of dealing with “other things” that are, in the grand scheme of things, not that important. He’s obviously a great leader, but he didn’t show that in this situation. And it’s a real shame to hear him downplay it as if it’s not a big deal.